Friday, September 19, 2014

Tee Offers

Blue Box Tees have got some great Doctor Who tee designs available this week, for only $12 each. Click on the images for more info and to purchase. For the full range, visit their site HERE.

CompanionTees have got five great new Doctor Who designs for fans this week - check them out HERE. They are available as tees (men's women's, children's), tank tops, hoodie, poster, mouse pad and phone case. As a bundle, the five tee designs are available for just $55 - check out the site for more offers HERE.

Enter the code BLOGTOR05 to get 5% off!

Zebra Tees have got some fab Doctor Who tee designs available this week for only $9 each. Click on the images for more info and to purchase. For the full range, visit their site HERE.

2014 Christmas Special casting

Click for a bigger version, courtesy BBC

The BBC have released details regarding this years Doctor Who Christmas Special, check out the details below!

Production on 2014's Doctor Who Christmas episode has begun, with a host of British acting talent set to appear.  The Doctor Who Christmas special, a cracker of a highlight in the festive season’s schedule, will air this Christmas on BBC One and promises to be an action-packed, unmissable adventure.

Nick Frost, actor and screen writer, has starred in numerous hit film and television roles, including Spaced, The World’s End, Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Cuban Fury and Paul, which he also wrote. Nick comments: “I'm so thrilled to have been asked to guest in the Doctor Who Christmas special, I'm such a fan of the show. The read-through was very difficult for me; I wanted to keep stuffing my fingers into my ears and scream "No spoilers!” Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fan boy squeals!"

Michael Troughton (Breathless, The New Statesman), who has recently returned to acting, will follow in his father’s footsteps by appearing in Doctor Who. His father, Patrick Troughton, played the second incarnation of the Doctor.

They will be joined by Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street, Ideal, Strictly Come Dancing), Faye Marsay (Pride, The White Queen, Fresh Meat) and Nathan McMullen (Misfits, Casualty).

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says: “Frost at Christmas - it just makes sense! I worked with Nick on the Tintin movie many years ago and it's a real pleasure to lure him back to television for a ride on the TARDIS.”

The Doctor Who Christmas special will air on BBC One. Written by Steven Moffat and directed by Paul Wilmshurst (Kill The Moon, Mummy on the Orient Express).

Thanks to the BBC

Time Heist clip

The BBC have released another clip from tomorrow's Doctor Who episode, Time Heist - watch it in the player above. or more pics, clips and info from Time Heist, click HERE.

Doctor Who Series 8 news [SPOILERS]

Tony Osaba and Hermoine Norris (Kill The Moon) and Frank Skinner (Mummy on the Orient Express)

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has got some news and information from some of the upcoming episodes of Doctor Who Series 8, check out all the details below. If you are keeping spoiler~free then do NOT read any further!

Coal Hill School has a new caretaker. He hides a strange blue box in his cupboard and carries a sonic screwdriver instead of a broom. Clara is suitably mortified, but the Doctor has got bigger things to worry about - especially when Danny Pink starts to work out just what has been going on...
Clara: This school is in danger.
The Doctor: Lucky I'm here then.
Clara: From you... You wouldn't be here if there wasn't an alien threat nearby. Your strategy for dealing with it involves endangering this school.
The Doctor: You don't know that.
Clara: I don't know anything - because you haven't told me anything. Which means I wouldn't approve. Which means you're endangering this school.
Writer Gareth Roberts says, "The school has become an unfortunate battleground because of its past history and because of the things that are currently happening there. It's become a place where bad things are going to happen... The Doctor likes Courtney [pupil at school, seen in Deep Breath and Into The Dalek], he recognises a kindred spirit, in that she doesn't have any social niceties either.

Courtney (played by Ellis George)
The moon has changed - and now it's threatening to wipe out all life on Earth. But when the Doctor uncovers its secrets, he realises the situation is graver than anyone thought. Can he stand by and let humanity destroy the moon?
Clara: We have a terrible decision to make. It's an uncertain decision, and we don't have a lot of time. The man who normally helps - he's gone. Maybe he's not coming back. In fact, I really don't think he is. We're on our own...
DWM says, "Having rumbled the school caretaker's secret in the previous episode [see above], Courtney begs the Doctor for a trip in the TARDIS - and, against Clara's better judgement, he obliges. He offers Courtney the chance to be the first woman on the Moon, and so they fly off into the far future. But, when they arrive, they cross paths with a group of human astronauts (captained by guest star Hermoine Norris) who are on a deadly mission. They are going to use dozens of nuclear bombs to blow the moon into a billion tiny pieces."

The magazine also states that Clara will face a life-changing dilemma, adding, "Perhaps more than any episode so far this series, we'll see just how alien this new Doctor is." Writer Peter Harness adds, "By the end of this episode - and I know we say this kind of thing a lot, but believe us - things will never be the same again. I still don't know how people will take it. I've never see the Doctor do something like this before." DWM comments, "By the end of the episode - once you've started breathing again after a final scene that Steven Moffat calls his favourite this year - you may wonder where the Doctor goes from here."

Frank Skinner and Christopher Villiers

The famous Orient Express, thundering along its journey across space, came to a sudden stop. The hyperspace ribbons under its wheels faded and it began to float, engines dead. Everything was deathly quiet. "And the facade drops away," murmured the Doctor, delighted. Upon which, he found himself very much wanted. For on the Orient Express murder had been committed. And the murderer was still on board!

The Doctor investigates. He raises his mighty eyebrows and thinks - with his little grey cells...
The Doctor: "I have been alive a very long time, and I have yet to meet a ghost or a god that didn't turn out to be... I don't know, sentient gas? Or technology masquerading as magic? This is no demon. Or ghost. Or curse. And I will show you it."
Writer Jamie Mathieson says, "The issue I had in constructing the plot was, how do I hide the Mummy? I thought, 'As soon as the Mummy starts killing people, how stupid are the passengers - and the Doctor - if they can't spot the killer? I had all sorts of ideas until eventually I came up with the final solution... which I think is a bit spoilery to reveal here!

The thing about the title Mummy On the Orient Express is, you think it's going to be a silly romp, and it's so not. From the first death onwards, you're like, 'Oh, this is quite dark.' The way the Mummy kills people is particularly spooky. It doesn't strangle people, doesn't beat them up or stab them..."

Doctor Who Magazine is on sale now!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

News Round~Up

With Doctor Who Series 8 under way, it's been a busy old time on the world of Doctor Who and there's some news and juicy nuggets that may have passed you by. Collected here is a round-up of the very latest news.

Don't forget you can follow Blogtor Who on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on Doctor Who - follow HERE. Read the last news round~up HERE

Blogtor's spoiler~free review
Introduction from Moffat, Coleman and Capaldi
TV trailer
Gallery of promo pics
Next Time trailer
Cast list
Gallery of Doctor Who, Torchwood and SJA aliens in the ep

FREE audio commentary
Doctor Who Extra
What Did YOU Think?

The Caretaker cast list
Kill The Moon episode synopsis
The Caretaker episode synopsis

Time Heist
Tom Baker At 80
Domain of the Voord
The Worlds of Doctor Who
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller

The Complete David Tennant Years box set
Doctor Who Magazine 478
Whovian Dad: Fandom, Fatherhood and Whovian Family Values
Limited Edition poster from Hamleys
Sherlock S1-3 box set

Doctor Who and the Scottish referendum: The Doctor’s adventures in time and Scotland
New late air time may exclude younger viewers
10 game-changing moments in Who history
Arthur Darvill to attend UK convention
Blogtor Writes For Metro

Time Heist clip

In the player above you can watch a new clip from the next Doctor Who episode, Time Heist. For more pics, clips and info from Time Heist, click HERE.

Doctor Who Magazine 478

Details about the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine have been released, check them out below and click on the cover for a bigger version.


FRANK SKINNER – Mummy on the Orient Express guest star, and life-long Doctor Who fan – speaks about his role in the new series, playing Perkins.
“I don’t know how I’ll feel when they say, ‘And that’s a wrap for Mr Skinner,’” Franks admits. “I’m sure I’ll go through a mix of emotions. When footballers are in cup finals, the managers always say, ‘Savour every moment,’ and that’s what I’m doing. Every moment is ‘wowee’!”

• Extensive previews of Episodes 5 to 8 of the new series – Time Heist, The Caretaker, Kill the Moon and Mummy on the Orient Express. DWM talks exclusively to writers STEVEN MOFFAT, STEPHEN THOMPSON, GARETH ROBERTS, PETER HARNESS and JAMIE MATHIESON.

• Doctor Who showrunner STEVEN MOFFAT answers readers’ questions in his exclusive column.

• DWM talks to BILLY HANSHAW, the man who inspired the brand new title sequence for this year’s series of Doctor Who.

• DWM investigates the nature of ‘spoilers’ and asks if they really spoil anything?

• Into the Dalek writer PHIL FORD talks about getting to know a Dalek from the inside out!

• In-depth reviews the Twelfth Doctor’s first four adventures: Deep Breath, Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood and Listen.

• As audio company Big Finish celebrates its 15th anniversary with an epic audio adventure, The Worlds of Doctor Who, DWM talks to its stars including COLIN BAKER, LOUISE JAMESON, LALLA WARD, CHRISTOPHER BENJAMIN, TREVOR BAXTER and JAMIE GLOVER.

• The DWM crossword, prize-winning competitions and much more!

Doctor Who Magazine 478 is on sale now, priced £4.99

AUDIO REVIEW: Tom Baker at 80

Tom Baker at 80

Featuring Tom Baker

Out Now

Tom Baker celebrated his 80th birthday in January 2014. In March he sat down with Nicholas Briggs (the voice of the Daleks) to look back on his younger days, his time playing Doctor Who and his return to the world of Who with the Big Finish audio adventures.

One day back in 1997 I was wandering around a book shop in Mold (it’s a real place) at the same time that Tom Baker happened to be there signing copies of his autobiography Who on Earth is Tom Baker? I was practically broke at the time, but I dished out the money for my gas bill to buy the book, signed by the man himself. It seemed sad for me at the time to see the man who’d played one of television’s most iconic roles flogging books in Mold.

Who on Earth is Tom Baker? was like nothing I’d ever read before and I wondered a lot if any of it was the actual truth. But then I suppose that’s part of the ongoing appeal of Tom Baker; his storytelling is so wonderfully exuberant that whether any of it is really true doesn't really matter. Seventeen years on and Tom Baker at 80 begins with him telling Nick Briggs, “I’m dramatising and exaggerating things,” when reminiscing about a time when he could tie his own shoe laces. And this may or may not be true the whole way through this two-hour interview. Baker frequently tells Briggs that fellow cast members hated him, which you never quite believe especially when they’re followed up by tales of hitting the town with fellow thesps like Joan Plowright and Larry Olivier -  “Larry called me ‘baby’”.

Briggs proves himself a rather lovely interviewer as he gently guides Tom through his own life, which is no mean feat as Baker is often (as you’d expect from a man of 80) vague about some events and loquacious about others.

We hear about his childhood in an impoverished, but fervently Catholic, family in Liverpool, where the love of his mother gave him a solid base against a religion that told him he was nothing. And that struggle against insignificance moves him from life as a trainee monk to army medic to actor, which in the context of this interview, seems perfectly reasonable and not the least bit odd in any way.

One of the great joys of spending time with Tom Baker is his charmingly peculiar view of life and the world around him. He seems to delight in the perverse, such as, “I liked his megalomania!” when talking about having champagne and tapas with Hollywood producer Sam Spiegel, or when revelling in Jon Pertwee’s lack of irony.

One of the key things about turning 80 is the time to reflect on a long life lived. Baker swears he’s learned nothing and yet Briggs brings out some interesting introspections about regrets or things that Baker would do differently.

Generosity is a trait that Baker often refers to in others and yet the most generous of all seems to be Baker himself as he talks about fellow actors, collaborators, or party-givers, while playing down his own achievements. Asked about playing Doctor Who, he simply says that he read some silly lines and people liked it. He talks with great affection about Paul Schofield and David Warner as well as fellow Who alumni Elisabeth Sladen and Louise Jameson. He has particular admiration for the very lovely Petey D and all of the other actors who’ve played our favourite Time Lord from Gallifrey, “No-one has ever failed at Doctor Who”.

Of course, Tom Baker at 80 also has some fantastically entertaining tales, too, such as being envious of Donald Sinden’s success with the check-out girls in Waitrose or being spotted playing a dog in Scarborough, which led to playing a horse at the National Theatre.

And we can’t end without talking about Tom Baker’s most iconic role. His love of Doctor Who and his passion for the show and the people who make it is extremely moving. He talks affectingly about his great unhappiness at leaving and his rejuvenation on joining Big Finish as well as his experience at the 50th Anniversary celebrations in London, “I’d never had a reaction like it.”

Tom Baker at 80 is filled with charm and affection. If the man wanders off at times, then we can certainly forgive him. Briggs brings him back and the story of Baker’s mad and endlessly interesting life flows very pleasingly. Like the man himself at 80, it is vague at times, but but filled with brilliant stories, lovingly told. And unlike his 1997 autobiography, you get the feeling that his glorious tales are mostly true.

Thanks to Big Finish

Time Heist introduction

In the player above you can watch an introduction to the next Doctor Who episode, Time Heist. It features Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara) and current showrunner Steven Moffat. For more pics, clips and info from Time Heist, click HERE.

Kill The Moon episode synopsis

The BBC have released the official episode synopsis for Doctor Who Series 8, Episode 7 - Kill The Moon, check it out below. The story is written by Peter Harness and is directed by Paul Wilmshurst (both newcomers to Who). 
In the near future, the Doctor and Clara find themselves on a space shuttle making a suicide mission to the Moon.

Crash-landing on the lunar surface, they find a mining base full of corpses, vicious spider-like creatures poised to attack, and a terrible dilemma.

When Clara turns to the Doctor for help, she gets the shock of her life. 
Kill The Moon airs on BBC One on Oct 4. Visit the Doctor Who Series 8 episode guide for more news, pics and clips HERE.

The Caretaker cast list

The Radio Times have released the cast for Doctor Who Series 8, Episode 6, The Caretaker - check it out below. Be warned, this list might be slightly spoilery.
Danny Pink - Samuel Anderson
Courtney Woods - Ellis George
Adrian - Edward Harrison
Mr Armitage - Nigel Betts
CSO Matthew - Andy Gillies
Noah - Nanya Campbell
Yashe - Joshua Warner-Campbell
Kelvin - Oliver Barry-Brook
Tobias - Ramone Morgan
Mr Woods - Winston Ellis
Mrs Woods - Gracy Goldman
Mrs Christopholou - Diana Katis
Skovox Blitzer - Jimmy Vee
Seb - Chris Addison 
The Caretaker airs at 8.30pm on Sept 27 on BBC One, for more news, pics and clips from the story, click HERE.

Jimmy Vee will be known to Who fans having already starred in numerous episodes during the Eccleston and Tennant eras. Chris Addison was revealed earlier this year as starring in the series finale.

Nigel Betts and Ellis George have also already appeared this series, in Into The Dalek (and the latter in Deep Breath too). Visit the Doctor Who Series 8 Guide HERE.

Whovian Dad: Fandom, Fatherhood and Whovian Family Values

Included below is information on the new book Whovian Dad: Doctor Who Fandom, Fatherhood and Whovian Family Values from author and journalist Pete May. Buy on Amazon HERE.

As a child Pete May loved Doctor Who, even though his dad thought it was a bit rubbish. He kept faith through the wilderness years of 1989-2005, writing numerous features demanding the return of the Doctor, and when he had children himself he vowed to be the monster-loving dad he’d lacked. Luckily his kids shared his obsession (but would his wife?) as Doctor Who returned and he helped them through their first regeneration. On his Whovian voyage Pete meets the likes of Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, David Tennant, Elisabeth Sladen and the Brigadier. Other dads affect gravitas, but he has a Zygon coaster and a Dalek mousemat. Told with warmth and humour, this unofficial memoir is the tale of one human's quest not to give up his sonic screwdriver

Whovian Dad, an unofficial memoir by Pete May, is now published on Kindle. Pete was inspired to write the book after the success of his Guardian article “Do the Daleks, Dad,” which explained why instilling Whovian values in his children was much more important than SATs or key stage four results.

The book covers his childhood watching the first ever William Hartnell episodes, his fear of Yetis and foaming seaweed with Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and the UNIT years, jelly babies with Tom Baker and the ‘pantomime’ years of the late 1980s, which actually contained the odd classic.

Pete May and his daughters
When Pete has children he agonises over whether he has the right to introduce them to wobbly sets and often great writing. But then Doctor Who returns in 2005 and he has to cope with his daughter crying, ”But he’s turned into a Beatle!” as Christopher Eccleston regenerates into David Tennant. Whovian Dad covers Matt Smith’s bow tie and the 50th anniversary celebrations and culminates with the author achieving his lifetime ambition of wielding a sonic screwdriver at an audience of Whovians at Loughton Library. This book should make readers laugh, play their old Doctor Who DVDs and reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. Resistance is useless.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The David Tennant Years box set

Click for a bigger version

BBC  has a lovely exclusive for David Tennant fans. Doctor Who: The Complete David Tennant Years is a 26 disc DVD box set which includes all his adventures from 2005-2010, including the animated stories Dreamland and The Infinite Quest and the following extras:

Series Two:
Audio Commentary
Outtakes & Deleted Scenes
David Tennant & Billy Piper Video Diaries
Doctor Who Confidential
Exclusive Doctor regeneration scene

Series Three:
Music and Monsters
Freema Agyeman Tour of the Studio
David Tennant’s Video Diaries
Deleted Scenes
Read Through of Episode 13
Audio Commentary
Doctor Who Confidential

Series Four:
Doctor Who Confidential
David’s Video Diaries
Deleted Scenes
Retrospective Featurette
Exclusive scene: “Timecrash”
Audio Commentary

Doctor Who Confidential
Doctor Who at the Proms
Deleted Scenes
David Tennant Video Dairy – The Final Days
Audio Commentary
Doctor Who At Comic Con

Doctor Who’s Greatest Moments

AUDIO REVIEW: Domain of the Voord

Domain of the Voord
by Andrew Smith

Starring William Russell and Carole Ann Ford

Out Now

Some fifty years after their only televisual appearance, it was about time someone did something about Terry Nation’s "Other Monsters". So, flap those flippers and point those rubber protuberances and step into the limelight, it’s…The Voord! Defeated by the Doctor and the TARDIS Originals on the planet Marinus, Yartek and his small band of Voord creatures provided an ill-defined and faintly comical form of villainy, skulking around at the beginning and end of The Keys of Marinus.

Set on the largely oceanic world of Hydra, the TARDIS crew arrive on board a boat, one of hundreds forming a flotilla escaping subjugation by a considerably more dangerous and numerous Voord presence. This four-part adventure sets off at a rattling pace with the Doctor, Barbara, Susan and Ian forced by circumstances to join the Hydrans’ desperate attempts led by Admiral Jonas Kaan to survive underwater Voord attack.

William Russell and Carole Ann Ford put in some excellent work early on, providing energetic readings for their respective characters, and alternating in narration duties. It’s a particular treat to hear again Russell’s interpretation of William Hartnell’s Doctor: he really nails the latter’s blend of domineering irascibility, bluster and waspish humour.

By the end of the first episode, the outlook for the TARDIS crew and the Hydran fleet is grim. Following a sustained underwater Voord attack (backed by some atmospherically eerie soundtracking), the Hydran flagship is sunk and The Doctor and Barbara are gone, feared drowned.

With the TARDIS also lost to the ocean’s depths, the story’s pace shifts as over a period of months Ian and Susan begin the long adjustment to their new, fugitive way of Hydran life on the ocean wave, together with their single Voord captive, Nebrin. As Ian and Susan find out more about the Voord from their captive, so does the listener with dark hints from Nebrin of the “harvesting” of Hydra’s population.

Having gained the trust of the Hydran leadership, Ian convinces Admiral Kaan that it’s time to take the fight to the Voord on land, and the flotilla makes for Predora, the occupied capital city. The deserted streets and buildings don’t remain empty for long, as the full and awful extent of Voord occupation is revealed.

The TARDIS crew are particularly proactive throughout this adventure, with first Ian and latterly The Doctor involved in leading Hydran efforts against their extra-terrestrial invaders. The duration of the story allows for some in depth exploration of the realities of survival under an oppressive regime, the compromises taken to ensure survival, and an examination of the motivations of the Voord, viewed particularly through Susan and Ian’s subtly different perspectives.

However no rollicking good Who adventure would be quite complete without some exuberant evil-doing, and that’s provided in the form of Overlord Tarlak. If Nebrin embodies an almost honourable example of his race, Tarlak provides the shoutier, declamatory side of the Voord psyche, clearly revelling in it as he does so.

It soon becomes horribly apparent that whilst Tarlak and Nebrin are of the “true bloodline”, the vast majority of the occupying Voord force on Hydra masks a deeper horror within. There’s a lot more to becoming a Voord than just strapping on the rubber suit and popping on an outsize rubber mask…

Unfolding against a “vintage/futuristic” backdrop populated by sleek submersibles, giant airships and the mysterious “Sea Engine”, the adventure rounds off in style with a classic race against time with the Doctor and his friends battling to stop the Overlord Tarlak’s Grand Plan from reaching fruition.

The cast of Domain of the Voord provide strong performances, maintaining the listener’s involvement throughout the adventure. It’s a testament to the quality of writing and production that a strikingly visual but otherwise forgettable creature such as the Voord can be resurrected so effectively in the audio medium.

Yet another excellent addition to the Doctor Who audio universe.

Thanks to Big Finish

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hamleys Ltd Ed Doctor Who poster [UPDATE]

It has confirmed that the brand new figure of The Twelfth Doctor in his chosen outfit, (played by Peter Capaldi) has been shipped to Hamleys especially for this event!

September will see a very special Doctor Who event take place at five Hamleys Toy Shops in locations around the UK, when a series of uniquely numbered exclusive posters will be available for fans to get their hands on.

The posters are the first and only collectors' posters ever created by the producers of the official Doctor Who figures, Character Options. On each poster the entire collection of 3 ¾ inch figures they have released to date are shown.  Only 250 of the posters have been produced for the five Hamleys stores (London Regent Street, Glasgow, Cardiff, Dublin and Manchester) and each is uniquely numbered from 1-250 for authenticity.

The poster has been created to celebrate the launch of the latest series of Doctor Who figures, which have been produced to commemorate the new TV series and the brand new Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi.

To be eligible fans must purchase an item from Hamleys’ Doctor Who collection. The posters will be available as a free gift with that purchase but only while stocks last. There is no minimum spend, but as the gift is so unique it is restricted to one per customer. There will also be the added bonus of 25 goodie bags for fans that come dressed in Doctor Who costume. These will be distributed free of charge on a first come first served basis.

The posters will be available from the following stores on the selected dates:
London Regent Street – 20th September 2014 from 9:30am
Manchester – 20th September 2014 from 9:30am
Glasgow – 20th September 2014 from 9am
Cardiff – 27th September 2014 from 9:30am
Dublin – 28th September from 10am

For more information and full the full terms and conditions check out the Hamleys website

Arthur Darvill to attend UK convention

Former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill is to attend a convention in London next month. The actor, who played Rory Pond during the Matt Smith years, will be attending the three-day event, The Time Of Angels from 10th to 12th October 2014, at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel (Heathrow). Fro more info, visit the website HERE. Accompanying Darvill are:
Keeley Hawes (Time Heist)
Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra)
Dan Starkey (Strax)
Catrin Stewart (Jenny)*
Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart)
Peter Ferdinando (Deep Breath)
Calvin Dean (Nightmare In Silver)
Barnaby Edwards (Dalek operator)
And more guests TBA!

The Time of Angels takes place from Oct 10-12 at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel (Heathrow, London). For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website HERE.

* Sunday Oct 12 only

EPISODE PREVIEW: Time Heist [spoiler~free]

Time Heist
by Stephen Thompson 

Starring Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman

Airs Sept 20

Doctor Who has an interesting history with stories containing the word "time". If I were being lazy I would trot up Time-Flight, Timelash and Time and the Rani as examples of poor Who but let's not forget there are some top class "Time" tales, such as The Time Warrior, The Time of Angels and Closing Time. Thankfully, the latest ep, Time Heist, very much falls into the latter category.

Also, if I was being lazy (which, you guessed it, I'm about to be), I would say that the story is an Ocean's 11 romp in the style of BBC show Hustle. But that's being rather simplistic and reductive.

Before you've even had time to draw breath, the pre-credits sequence launches us all into a fascinating mystery (including The Doctor and Clara). With a welcome return of "nu" Who alien, the Gallifreyan finds himself in a room with his pal and two strangers - "augmented" gamer Psi and the shape-shifter, Saibra. Steven Moffat promised one of the best pre-titles, and he was not wrong.

This gang discover quickly that they've been brought together by the unseen character, The Architect. And each of them have special skills that will get them their loot - whatever that may be - from the Bank of Karabraxos. But this is no ordinary bank and there's a monster patrolling its corridors that makes sure no thief gets in or out, as detecting guilt is its speciality.

The monster in question, The Teller, is fantastically realised. In fact, I would say this is one of the best creations from Doctor Who in a very long time. Its look is suitably otherly but its actions really propel it into another realm of monstery. And that's before we get to... Ah, spoilers.

It may well be a monster creeping around corridors, but its damn effective!

And the cast aren't too shabby either. Jonathan Bailey, playing Psi, and Pippa Bennett-Warner (Saibra) are fantastic additions to Doctor Who. They're a hugely enjoyable couple (not in that sense) and are immediately engaging. You'll be sorry that the pair can't join Team TARDIS for more adventures.

Sadly, and this is one of the only down points of the story, Keeley Hawes, familiar to millions in Ashes to Ashes and the phenomenal Line of Duty, isn't quite up to the high standard of her fellow actors. Her performance as Ms Delphox, like Ben Miller a couple of weeks ago in Robot of Sherwood, is a tad one note and a bit too arch for me.

Likewise, the script does have the odd poorly worded moment (personally, I'm not a fan of The Doctor "hating" things or using the phrase "shut up") and the surprises may not be quite as surprising as they're meant to be. But these are small points in comparison with the rest of, what is, a terrific episode and the denouement is a cracker; the resolution is very worthy of The Doctor.

Director Douglas Mackinnon is back again after last week's poetry in Listen, and a more different feel and style you'd be hard pushed to find. He handles the action and the CG with fun but is also a supreme talent at portraying those dark and eerie moments with The Teller.

Finally, and without wanting to dredge up a negative and be unkind, given that Thompson's pedigree were the slightly duff episodes The Curse of the Black Spot and Journey to the Center of the TARDIS (and I'm being nice by calling them "slightly duff"), this is a surprising and most welcome turn from the writer. He's done a spot on job here.

Time Heist is a lovely bit of fun and a neat reminder that The Doctor is a good man, with a plan and wants to do the right thing. Even if he doesn't know it.

 Oh, and look out for a rather shocking reference to The Thick of It...

Time Heist airs Sept 20 at 7.30pm on BBC One

Thanks to the BBC

REVIEW: The Worlds of Doctor Who

The Worlds of Doctor Who
by Justin Richards, Jonathan Morris
and Nick Wallace.

Starring Colin Baker, Louise Jameson,
Lalla Ward and many more…

Out Now

The Worlds of Doctor Who is the brainchild of producer David Richardson put together to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Big Finish; and what better way to do that than to bring together four of the most successful and best loved Doctor Who spin-off series and throw a Doctor in to the mix as well.

This is Big Finish at its best. The overriding story is very well formed and winds its way through time and through some of the best series they have produced in its incredible 15 year life. The collection is broken up into four parts, from different audio series: Jago and Litefoot, Counter-Measures, the UNIT Vault and Gallifrey.

Mind Games by Justin Richards
In Victorian England, Henry Gordon Jago and Professor Litefoot investigate death and disappearance on the streets of London. These events seem to be linked to a certain New Regency theatre and its latest act, the mesmerist Mr Rees.

Mind Games starts out as a wonderful pastiche of the origin television story for Jago and Litefoot: mysterious murders and disappearances, a mesmerist at a theatre - sound familiar? This is probably the most linear of the four stories, it holds together incredibly well and sets up the series’ villain aptly. There’s a wonderful moment of meta-medium, where Jago and Litefoot record their voices using a phonograph. 

The Reesinger Process by Justin Richards
Moving forward in time to London 1964, and dealing with the fallout from the previous tale, it falls to the Counter Measures team to discover what is the Reesinger Process and who is behind it.

The Reesinger Process follows a similar instigation of people behaving strangely and murdering indiscriminately. The story works so well as a building block of the whole set and as a very in-keeping plot for the Sixties period of paranoia of Counter Measures, concerning training to withstand interrogation and torture. The combination of plausible and otherworldly work is excellent here and the story feels connected whilst totally different from its predecessor.
RATING 10/10

The Screaming Skull by Jonathan Morris
Disgraced soldiers Ruth Matherson and Charlie Sato, formerly of the UNIT Vault, are called back into action by Captain Mike Yates. Together they must regain access to the mysteriously locked vault and get out alive.

The Screaming Skull feels again like a wonderfully different kind of story. It’s great to find out the conclusion to the last time we saw the UNIT team facing the Master. It’s also wonderful to see the return of Richard Franklin as Captain Mike Yates. I also found it charming that Big Finish decided to make welcome the now defunct rivals AudioGO’s Doctor Who "Nest Cottage" series in to the Big Finish canon.

As always with the UNIT vault stories there are lots of references and relics from stories past. Without wanting to spoil anything I’m sure I’m not the only listener who couldn’t help but see a comparison with another particular villain and his horcruxes. Yates summons The Doctor, but all I could think was, surely their have been times when The Doctor’s presence was needed more urgently.

Second Sight by Nick Wallace and Justin Richards
The actions of Mr. Rees have alerted the Time Lords of Gallifrey, so Romana and Leela are on the scene. The Sixth Doctor has been summoned by Mike Yates. A power from the dawn of the universe is about to be unleashed once more.

Second Sight is a wonderful culmination of the three previous stories. It’s great to see as many characters as possible come together in this last instalment. The ending is well rounded and gives the previous stories context, nuance and motivation.

However, the epilogue is ambiguous, leaving things open for a possible follow up. It’s wonderful to hear Colin Baker, Lalla Ward and Louise Jameson together. They also depart together, so I hope we’ll see some more of that particular trio.

Music is used particularly well throughout, particularly the nursery rhyme, which is used in many different arrangements; spooky, solemn, bombastic and moving. I agree with the choices of a clear linear progression of time, not having all characters together (as that would feel a little contrived) and praise the continuity of the villain throughout each episode. Each story works excellently as a stand alone and are incredibly varied in quality and tone, yet brilliantly connect together like a delicious chocolate Quality Street jigsaw puzzle.

It feels like the right choice to have Colin Baker as the Doctor, he’s been the biggest Big Finish stalwart and not without cause, as these past fifteen years he has been given the chance to shine and show his quality in the role. Jamie Glover (who played William Russell in An Adventure in Space and Time and is also the son of City of Death's Julian Glover) is fantastic as the villain of the piece, Mr Rees, and, to be honest, the whole cast do a bang up job. Writer Justin Richards has produced a wonderful piece and you can really see his love, care and experience weaved throughout.

The Worlds of Doctor Who comes highly recommended. It’s a great sampler and showcase for the very best of Big Finish and not to be missed. Thank you Big Finish!

Thanks to Big Finish

Time Heist promo pics

BBC America have released promotional pictures for Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 5, Time Heist - click on the images included here for bigger versions. Featured alongside Peter Capaldi (The Doctor) and Jenna Coleman (Clara) are: Pippa Bennett-Warner (Saibra), Jonathan Bailey (Psi),  Keeley Hawes (Ms Delphox) and Trevor Sellers (Mr Porrima). For more pics, clips and info from the story, click HERE.

ALL PICS: Adrian Rogers, ©BBC/BBC Worldwide 2014